Montana Public Radio

Patrick Barkey

Tourists at the Apgar Visitor Center in Glacier National Park.
GlacierNPS (PD)

America’s employers added just 266,000 jobs last month. That’s sharply lower than in March and a sign that some businesses are struggling to find enough workers as the economic recovery strengthens. It’s a problem for Montana’s hospitality industry, which expects tourists to return in droves this summer.

Hearing room at the Montana Capitol.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

Montana’s governor is calling this "Tax Reform Week." Gov. Greg Gianforte’s proposals to change a slew of tax policies for residents and businesses got their first hearing in the state Legislature. An income tax cut proposal received the most debate Thursday morning. 

After a months-long impasse, Montana senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines both say Congress should broker a deal on a new coronavirus relief package, but it’s not yet clear if they’ll agree on what a final package should look like. Renewed calls for a deal come as Montana assigns its final dollars from the last federal aid package. 

August 2020 - Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rate for the U.S. and Montana.
Montana Department of Labor & Industry

Montana unemployment claims are steadily decreasing and that trend could continue, despite the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the state. 

Montana’s governor says the state’s employment rate is in a healthier place compared to many other states after the coronavirus pandemic led to government mandated business closures earlier this year.

Some economists say it’s too soon to draw conclusions.

Governor Steve Bullock says Montana Department of Labor and Industry data show that the state has the sixth fastest job bounce back in the country.

A new report shows Missoula’s growing population, combined with a tight housing supply continues to drive high demand and ever higher home prices.

Housing prices may dip in the short term due to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic. The long-term effects on real estate are still unclear.

Many Montana companies are struggling to find suitable workers to fill job openings. Researchers and industry experts at a seminar in Bozeman Wednesday say there aren’t enough skilled applicants. But educators say they see opportunities in more apprenticeships.

 


Montana’s most populated county may be reaching an economic equilibrium following a drop in oil prices in 2014 thanks to a strong base of manufacturing support services. 

iStock

Researchers say government activity in Lewis and Clark County continues to insulate the area from major economic swings. But an outlook released Tuesday by University of Montana analysts shows wage growth in the area lags behind the state as a whole.

Montana saw wage growth in 2019, but an economic slowdown is expected in coming years, according to University of Montana researchers. The Bureau of Business and Economic Research released its annual outlook Tuesday in Helena.

Pages